Previously on America’s Got Talent, Eleisha went home. So aren’t we done?As we hang on the edge of our seats to learn the Wild Cards tonight, the only item of note from the preview montage is that the guy that the judges forced to dump his back-up girls is still being billed as with “The Serenades.” Intrigue!
Raise your hand if you’re less obnoxious than Eleisha!
And then it’s Wild Card time!
This was a solid pick. He was definitely talented and his ejection seemed premature, but I guess now we lose a little of that ‘Last Magician Standing’ buzz that the other guy had. And who could the next Wild Card be? Meltdown Kelly? (I’ll spare you the screenshot this week). Darling Ciana? Badass guitar kid? Chima, fresh from Big Brother? SUSAN BOYLE?
Ugh, yeah, we all know how well dance teams do on this show. And isn’t this one that LOST the dance-off in the Vegas Verdicts? To another dance team who’s ALREADY BEEN ELIMINATED? If I want dancers, I’ll go to SYTYCD or DWTS. Quit spreading yourself so thin to accommodate everyone, AGT.
So after the main titles, the inescapable Nick Cannon gives us the standard spiel and then introduces the judges for the ridiculous pro-wrestler-like intro that they get every week. Hey, did you guys hear about how Piers totally called Mariah Carey out for being a bitch about the lights and staging for her song two weeks ago? Do you think there’s some bad blood between him and Cannon? Like maybe backstage Piers says things dryly to Nick and then Nick squints and makes a fist at Piers? Shit gets intense.
So Nick, with one of the only worthwhile things he’s ever asked the judges, references the decision to vote Tony through and then asks Piers to bitch a little bit. Piers acknowledges that he’s the smartest one on the panel and that it sucks going up against the Osbourne/Hasselhoff Alliance, but Sharon interrupts and basically argues affirmative action for the most varied acts. I definitely disagree that an untalented and different act should beat out a talented, mainstream act, but I guess Sharon’s method will keep it interesting. David yammers about some stuff that makes me feel stupid just to recap, but the gist is he wants talent. Go figure.
First up tonight are the Footworkingz, and on my quest to eliminate all of the annoyingly modernly-named acts I’m afraid they must go. And they were only one letter away!
AGT replays the tape from that other dance group that was also from Chicago. David says they have the fastest footwork he’s ever seen, so I guess that’s how they’re attempting to stand out from all the other dancers we don’t remember. There’s also minor drama as one of the dancers hurt his ankle at the previous night’s rehearsal, so I guess that might put a damper on the whole “fast feet” thing.
I think we’ve all seen this movie while drunk at 2 am.
They come out and despite the weird futuristic theme and atrocious yellow shoes, they actually produce a decent dance. Could this be the team that finally goes all the way and gets eliminated by the judges instead of America? They finish up the routine with some acrobatics to win the Acrodunk crowd and some line dancing to win the, uh, Texas Tenor crowd.
I always feel uneasy around so many of that kind of people. Dancers, I mean.
Piers says he’s of two minds about them, cause everything’s got to be a Dickens novel with these damn redcoats, but then he was just faking them out and he loves them. As a side note, isn’t it great how there really is nothing derogatory that you can say about the British to cause public outrage? Piers is like my own little racial punching bag. Sharon agrees and David continues to try and work his name into everything. The guy that hurt himself says that he wasn’t sure earlier, but the audience, the judges, and the Vicodin really got him pumped up.
Alright, time to get to the bottom of this Marcus AND the Serenades business. There’s a montage of the judges forcing Marcus to dump his friends, and then we learn that his new Serenades are just random girls they picked up in the streets of LA. Who kept the name from the original group. Wow, that’s not insulting at all.
And here’s my question about this whole thing: if the part of the act that the judges hated was the girls, then why replace them at all? Why does he NEED background singers? Just let him do his thing solo, like the other singers. I do like that the judges have saddled him with a constant reminder of his loss, and I enjoy that everything about him is very “I sold my soul to be here.” But it makes little sense. Anyways, Marcus does a good job with his song, ending with what sounds like the exact note that Alizma got attacked for last week.
If you were another contestant, wouldn’t you feel a little cheated that this is 75% NOT the act that was voted through?
Sharon is still feeling “friendly” after the Footworkingz, and Marcus’s seductive looks at the camera have left her almost immobile. She falls over herself to compliment him, and then David proves my point by saying that the background girls are “more than background.” Sharon starts to bark like a dog out of sexual frustration and Piers ignores her and says Marcus did great.
The third act is “Pixie Mystere,” whom Nick says has been working for five years, even though they’re only eleven. I’m pretty sure that NOTHING I started working on up until about my sixteenth birthday ever lasted longer than three days, so I’m already impressed/bitter. I guess Eleisha has been sucking all of the love for cute kids that I should have, so now it’s all going towards them. They do cute girl things like dance and eat cookies, and maybe it’s because there’s more of them they’re less offensive.
Eleven-year-old girls grow up so fast these days…
They do an OK number, with a lot more gymnastics than dancing. Also, the synchronization isn’t great. But overall, it’s six little girls who aren’t Eleisha that are jumping around, how bad could it have been? I’m just impressed they didn’t get an X from Piers. David asks how they feel about Vegas, and one of them shrieks “amazing!” like she’s been smoking for forty years. A rare double-Hoff when he praises them for being what America is all about AND what this show is all about, and then it’s on to Piers who gives them a lukewarm “congratulations.” Sharon puts the entire state of California on a collective Amber Alert by threatening to take them all home and putting them in her garden, and knowing Ozzy I have a guess what ELSE they’ll find in her garden. The girls keep answering “thank you!” like they’re getting Halloween candy, and then Nick makes the interesting decision to reveal that he’s an honorary pixie. Yeah, we kinda already knew.
So the first of our Wild Cards is that young magician Jay, and I feel like he’s the only one to deserve a WC Spot so far. We see him looking pained in that airplane hangar where he was eliminated, and I like the idea that Simon made him wait there until tonight. He says that some of his pieces he literally just finished building in the basement with his dad and this is the first time he’s done them. Oh, I bet you tell all the audiences that!
After spoiling me on Penn and Teller last week, this had better be good, AGT. THIS COULDA BEEN CIANA! Jay makes two girls appear, which is no small feat, trust me, and then he dances around and ties some scarves together like a less dark GOB Bluth. He’s passing some scarves around, and I’m starting to get worried. Scarf magic isn’t particularly impressive when your uncle tries it at Thanksgiving, so I’m not sure how Jay is going to make it thrilling for a national audience. The flags and scarves are cool, but my man Piers gets bored and throws the X down. Sharon buzzes just as Jay turns a flag into a dog, signaling the end of the act and the beginning of everyone capitalizing on the O/H Alliance’s love of dogs.
What do you think he’s going to make appear under that handkerchief?
Piers gets a little British with Jay and says he wasn’t new or surprising. Sharon says it was typical but she loves dogs, so she’s torn. David stays noncommittal and praises Jay’s attitude. After Jay attempts to defend his magic, Piers interrupts him by reminding him that “he can’t come to the stage in a million-dollar competition…” and then Jay interupts HIM with a puzzling argument about how he (Jay) does not have one million dollars. I have NO idea what he was going for, but I do intend to use that as a witty comeback in my upcoming arguments.
Time for the Orville Lounge! I’m sorry, the MySpace auditions! Oh, no, it’s the Kmart question! These have been exciting me more and more since I started canvasing the America’s Got Talent “Ask A Question” website with questions that would force the contestants to indirectly (or directly. Hi EriAms!) reference my recaps. But alas, tonight “Ben” from “Iowa” (fake names if I ever heard them) wants to know what Bri has heard from her friends at school. Or on the internet about her! How does she feel about her TVgasm portrayal? These are the only 40 people I have in my life right now! I DON’T HAVE A MILLION DOLLARS!
If I’m recalling Bri’s backstory correctly, she quickly invents some friends to answer about and then gushes about being here. Just as I recalled, her montage is about her being quiet in school and loud on stage. Yeah, yeah, yeah, tragic artist, we get it.
Helena Boneham Carter, after drastic costuming cuts.
So Bri is doing this really weird lounge-singer version of “Poker Face,” which I realize is all the rage right now, but her voice is so good that she’s actually pulling it off. When she switches into full on Lady Gaga mode it gets worse, because no one singing Gaga sounds good without editing the hell out of themselves, but overall the act is very impressive. Sharon and David both give Bri very expected compliments, and then we get to the judging. Piers says that he enjoyed the song and Bri has many characteristics of the top female singers today, and Bri is understandably speechless.
So now it’s time for WC Spot #2, u4ria Dance Crew, also known as (insert favorite eliminated contestant) Dream Destroyers. So the Ciana Dream Destroyers are a bunch of dance teachers that just randomly decided to audition, and I really liked them because I thought that was pretty badass. As badass as dance can be, anyway. But then they blew the dance-off in Vegas, so this is what, their third chance? Kind of ridiculous. There’s a fun montage of them fighting and one of the girls noting that the Wildcards have sucked so far, and then they’re up!
Yep, good thing Simon made sure we didn’t miss THIS.
They have this weird story line where (insane people? monsters? Sharon Osbournes?) attack doctors and start dancing around. The dance actually isn’t bad, much better than most we’ve seen. Why is everyone surprisingly good tonight? David shouts some nonsense at them (why is he so inarticulate tonight?) and Piers continues an AGT tradition of singling out specific performers in group acts. I’d be surprised if ANY group managed to stay together long enough to win this thing. Sharon senses that Piers is happy and attacks their technical dance skill, because we all know that Sharon is the Carrie Ann Inaba of her time.
Next up is Dave Johnson, that guy that did the Hasselhoff parody song one million years ago. Do we really expect this to be a winner? I’ll admit that U4ria surprised me, but I’ll be BLOWN AWAY if this guy goes Xless. He complains about his boring credit union job, and he’s nervous but excited. Let’s just get this over with, Dave.
What’s with the giant TV behind his laptop? And how do I get a set-up like that at work?
He starts his song and it’s about…The Golden Girls? Really? Very topical, Dave. You couldn’t work up and USSR or George HW Bush material? Yep, here’s the X from Piers. Like, I guess this would be funny if I was over thirty years old. And Piers is British, he probably doesn’t know WHAT the hell Dave is crooning about. Sharon follows with an X, so now it’s just incoherent David keeping him alive. And finally, mercifully, the Hoff hits the button.
I guess I do see the irony of trashing a dated reference on a show with both David Hasselhoff and an Osbourne.
Piers tells Dave it wasn’t funny, which is true, and Sharon basically agrees. I literally have no idea what David is talking about this time. Nick plays right into my hands by saying he thought it was hilarious and then Dave is finished, likely in both senses of the word.
“How many sick days did you have to burn to be here?”
Nick squints his way through an endorsement of the eventual winner in Vegas, and now we’re ready for Hairo, that kid that did the crazy dancing in one of the prelims. Not specific enough for you? Yeah, me either. I think he was even a Showender. Hairo talks about dancing at home at his parents house, and there’s some clips of him trying to drum up street-tough interest like the Chicago dancers, but failing miserably in the mean streets of the Oregon countryside.
Seriously? Who takes pictures like THIS?
So he totally jacks Arcadian’s bit by dressing as a nerd and dancing around with books and papers, and he actually manages to put together a really crazy and entertaining piece. This is tonight’s YouTube act, people. Sharon says he’s great but he was still using background dancers, David compares him alternatively to Jell-O and bacteria, and Piers says he’s good but he needs to think about a ninety-minute show. Jeez, would you go to see ninety minutes of ANY one guy dancing? Or even any one dance group?
Tune in next week, when all acts need to perform whilst fighting off a sassy black woman.
Next is G-Force, those three girls with the band that will have extreme eating disorders and media exploitation within five years if they make it through tonight. Hey, I guess I’m sort of the first one! They want to be “the female Jonas Brothers,” and it makes me sad that the Jonas Brothers are any sort of guidepost for the nation’s youth.
“Oh my God, guys, we’re going to be like best friends forever! Bands don’t have histories of ending friendships, right?”
They’re doing “Hot n’ Cold” and if I’m going to be honest, their vocals are Eleisha-level. I’m not sure how much of the instrumentals are actually them, but it sounds decent. AND MY MAN PIERS WITH THE BUZZER! We will have NO self-esteem on this show, young ladies, even if it would only cost us thirty seconds of airtime. I love how Piers looks pained and won’t even clap for acts that he gives the buzzer to.
They want a Disney show so goddamn bad.
David says that they’re his favorites, but they were off on the vocals. I got that one! Piers says he likes the music and the girls, but the vocals suck. Sharon nicely agrees that yes, they should probably work on the singing like crazy, and they all compliment them some more.
Up tenth is Jeffrey, the kid that played the piano. After Arcadian stole the piano thing, I’m hoping that Jeffrey will bust some dance moves and a sappy, victimized backstory out of nowhere. But it appears that he’s unfortunately sticking with “likes piano” as his defining personality trait. Sigh. If there’s one thing mainstream America likes, it’s classical music.
As expected he plays beautiful, but it’s about as exciting as a piano can be. But then, we bust out the Elton John (not literally) and there’s a bunch of dancers and it all gets more frantic. Not really more exciting, just more frantic.
David says he couldn’t hear the piano and the dancers took all his excitement. Piers acknowledges that due to technical problems they couldn’t hear the second part, which would piss me the fuck off if I were Jeffrey, and so there’s not much the judges can do but smile at him. I have to say again, this really, really sucks for Jeffrey. Two acts left!
I just couldn’t hear him over his shirt.
Mario and Jenny are the penultimate act. Those were the weirdo chainsaw jugglers who weren’t particularly good, but they have an exciting live show promise, I guess. Jenny starts to cry about their big chance tonight, and David just comes out and says he wants it to be dangerous. Jenny flips around a little bit and Mario holds up some flaming guitars with his teeth, then starts to juggle three of them.
Doesn’t this entire act look like the aftermath of a ritual sacrifice of G-Force?
Mario starts to light the frame of the box on fire, then he twirls it around over his head in a really impressive manner. As mindless as this might be, it is entertainment for the masses. Sharon says she loves the danger they bring, as well as the talent. David says they’re better than ever and Piers says this is a tough night to vote, so he’d hate to be in America’s shoes. Are the judges really not allowed to pick up their phones and vote? They always make it sound like they’ve been outcast from America.
That hair is the real act!
Nick Cannon has now said, “make that noise for _____” almost twenty times tonight.
The final act is Lawrence, that guy with the AMAZING voice. He’s my favorite tonight, so I’m sure he’ll follow Manuela Horn and Alizma and get three Xs. He feels pressure, blah, blah, blah, he don’t need backstory if he’s amazing.
Lawrence is singing “You Are So Beautiful To Me,” and as expected it’s amazing. Skip Vegas and head for Broadway, man. Next, the entire thing turns into a Bond opening with some random female shadow dancing around behind him, which I guess is supposed to be sweet but which is really just creepy.
AGT paid for the fog machine, and damnit, they’re going to get their money’s worth.
Sharon calls him “smooth like velvet” (keep it in your pants, Sharon) and David says he’s excited that he can sing pop as well as show tunes. Piers says that Lawrence is a real talent, which is totally true, and just compliments him a lot. Lawrence thanks everybody (which I’m imagining includes me) and now it’s time to vote!
So who should move on this week, guys? I don’t even want to try to guess because they’re all crazy-tight tonight, but I feel pretty comfortable my boy Lawrence is onward. Thoughts?
Due to the extreme lateness of this post (last time, I swear) the results show has already aired. In my continuous quest to recap three hours of AGT a week without boring you, here’s a new approach: the brief summary at the end of the first recap.
Let me say that I was as surprised as I’ve been so far by the results. First off, no Bri? Are you kidding me? Any teen that can win me over with a weird/artsy Lady Gaga cover deserves to win the whole thing.
In review, the top four acts were Hairo Torres (deserved), Jeffrey the pianist (surprising, but I’m still awaiting his showdown with Arcadian), Mario and Jenny, and Lawrence (YES). The judges smartly chose the Footworkingz over the pixies, and we bid goodbye to the precocious G-Force, waste-of-space U4ria, and long overdue singer Dave.
We also got to drop the Serenade act that the judges basically bait-and-switched on us, and, sadly, it looks like Jay the magician will never get that million dollars.
So, what’s the verdict from you, readers?